Scientific Name:
Microsorum novae-zealandiae (Baker) Copel., Gen. Fil. 196 (1947) – as Microsorium novae-zealandiae
  • Polypodium novae-zealandiae Baker in Hooker, Hooker's Icon. Pl. 17, t: 1674 (1886)
  • Phymatodes novae-zealandiae (Baker) Pic.Serm., Webbia 8: 222 (1951)
  • Phymatosorus novae-zealandiae (Baker) Pic.Serm., Webbia 28: 459 (1973)
  • Zealandia novae-zealandiae (Baker) Testo & A.R.Field, Syst. Bot. 44: 13 (2019)
Lectotype (selected by Brownsey & Perrie 2012): Pirongia Mt, Upper Waikato district, N[ew] Zealand, T.F. Cheeseman, ‘rec’d 5/77’, K! (photo WELT E470/20).
novae-zealandiae (Latin) – from New Zealand.

Epiphytic or occasionally terrestrial; creeping or climbing ferns.  Rhizomes long-creeping, 4–10 mm diameter, scaly.  Rhizome scales clathrate, ovate, 5–15 mm long, 1.5–2.5 mm wide, squarrose, orange-brown, virtually entire. Fronds 150–900 mm long.  Stipes 40–330 mm long, pale brown, glabrous except for very scattered scales at base.  Laminae deeply 1-pinnatifid to almost pinnate at base, ovate to elliptic, 100–470 mm long, 60–270 mm wide, extending 5–20 mm below the lowest lobe, bright green, coriaceous, glabrous.  Lamina lobes in 1–25 pairs, 45–180 mm long, 5–15 mm wide, straight or slightly falcate, acuminate, margins entire or wavy, widest at base or at middle.  Veins reticulate, forming 1–2 series of areoles between costa and lobe margin; hydathodes usually inconspicuous on adaxial surface of lamina.  Sori round or slightly elongate, 2–4 mm long, superficial or impressed into lamina forming low bulges on adaxial surface, in 1 row on either side of the costa, closer to the lobe margin; paraphyses absent; exindusiate.


This species can be confused with M. pustulatum, especially when young.  However, it is generally a larger plant, rarely if ever produces undivided fronds, and has very distinctive, spreading, orange-brown rhizome scales.  Hydathodes on the upper lamina surface are present but inconspicuous.  The thicker rhizomes (> 4 mm diameter), distinctive rhizome scales, coriaceous lamina and bright green colour distinguish it from M. scandens.


North Island: Auckland, Volcanic Plateau, Gisborne, Taranaki, Southern North Island.

Altitudinal range: 350–1300 m.

Confined to montane forests of the North Island from Coromandel to the southern Tararua range, generally from 350–1300 m.  South of Mt Taranaki and the Volcanic Plateau, the species occurs only as disjunct populations in the southern Tararua range, and is known from just one collection in the Ruahine range (WELT P022827).


Usually epiphytic, occasionally on fallen logs, in damp montane forests of the North Island.  It is found in a range of podocarp, beech and broadleaved forest.

Indigenous (Endemic)
Brownsey, P.J.; Perrie, L.R. 2012: Taxonomic notes on the New Zealand flora: lectotypes and excluded taxa in the fern family Polypodiaceae. New Zealand Journal of Botany 50: 179–184.
Brownsey, P.J.; Perrie, L.R. 2015: Polypodiaceae (excluding Notogrammitis). In: Breitwieser, I; Heenan, P.B.; Wilton, A.D. (ed.) Flora of New Zealand — Ferns and Lycophytes. Fascicle 1. Manaaki Whenua Press, Lincoln.
Brownsey, P.J.; Smith-Dodsworth, J.C. 2000: New Zealand ferns and allied plants. Edition 2. David Bateman, Auckland.
Copeland, E.B. 1947: Genera Filicum. Chronica Botanica Co., Waltham, Mass.
Crookes, M.W. 1963: New Zealand Ferns, ed. 6. Incorporating illustrations and original work by H.B. Dobbie. Whitcombe & Tombs, Christchurch.
de Lange, P.J.; Murray, B.G.; Datson, P.M. 2004: Contributions to a chromosome atlas of the New Zealand flora – 38. Counts for 50 families. New Zealand Journal of Botany 42: 873–904.
de Lange, P.J.; Norton, D.A.; Courtney, S.P.; Heenan, P.B.; Barkla, J.W.; Cameron, E.K.; Hitchmough, R.; Townsend, A.J. 2009: Threatened and uncommon plants of New Zealand (2008 revision). New Zealand Journal of Botany 47: 61–96. [Not threatened]
de Lange, P.J.; Norton, D.A.; Heenan, P.B.; Courtney, S.P.; Molloy, B.P.J.; Ogle, C.C.; Rance, B.D. 2004: Threatened and uncommon plants of New Zealand. New Zealand Journal of Botany 42(1): 45–76. [Sparse]
de Lange, P.J.; Rolfe, J.R.; Barkla J.W.; Courtney, S.P.; Champion, P.D.; Perrie, L.R.; Beadel, S.N.; Ford, K.A.; Breitwieser, I.; Schönberger, I.; Hindmarsh-Walls, R.; Heenan, P.B.; Ladley, K. 2018: Conservation status of New Zealand indigenous vascular plants, 2017. New Zealand Threat Classification Series No. 22. [Not Threatened]
de Lange, P.J.; Rolfe, J.R.; Champion, P.D.; Courtney, S.P.; Heenan, P.B.; Barkla, J.W.; Cameron, E.K.; Norton, D.A.; Hitchmough, R.A. 2013: Conservation status of New Zealand indigenous vascular plants, 2012. New Zealand Threat Classification Series 3. Department of Conservation, Wellington. [Not Threatened]
Hooker, J.D. 1886–1887: Hooker's Icones Plantarum; or Figures, with Brief Descriptive Characters and Remarks of New or Rare Plants. Vol. 17. Williams and Norgate, London.
Large, M.F.; Braggins, J.E. 1991: Spore atlas of New Zealand ferns and fern allies. SIR Publishing, Wellington.
Large, M.F.; Braggins, J.E.; Green, P.S. 1992: The identity of Polypodium pustulatum Forst.f. (Polypodiaceae). Kew Bulletin 47: 121–127.
Pichi Sermolli, R.E.G. 1951: Notes on some Australian ferns. Webbia 8: 201–223.
Pichi Sermolli, R.E.G. 1973: Fragmenta Pteridologiae IV. Webbia 28: 445–477.
Testo, W.L.; Field, A.R.; Sessa, E.B.; Sundue, M. 2019: Phylogenetic and morphological analyses support the resurrection of Dendroconche and the recognition of two new genera in Polypodiaceae subfamily Microsoroideae. Systematic Botany 44(4): 1–16.